During “Osmosis” – MindTree’s Tech Fest on December 14, 2005 – that show-cased Bluetooth Analog IC imaginatively on “Bindi” – Subroto Bagchi, COO moderated a controversial panel discussion on this topic.
Subroto has assembled Arundhati Nag (of Ranga Sankara fame), Ramesh Ramanathan (of Janaagraha fame), Narendra Pani (of Economic Times), Krishna Kumar (MindTree Co-Founder) and me.
There was general discussion on the need for IT Pro’s to engage with civic society, IT Pro’s not to get arrogant enough to think that what is good for IT industry is good for everyone, IT Pro’s to think of culture as part of their larger learning, need for “left brain” and “right brain” synthesis etc.
My own argument was simple – it is a half cup; it is for people to say it is “half full” or “half empty“.
The following points would prove this
IT industry will create 5 Million jobs by 2010; for a country of billion people it is no big deal; alternately, with 3-4 jobs created for every job in IT, 15-20 Million jobs (larger than the population of many countries ) is no mean achievement!
IT guys are arrogant; after all IT (IIT & IIIT included) is full of I’s (ego); but IT also got respect for Indians (from a country that was accused of exporting nothing but communicable disease, today we export Rs. 100,000 Crores of software)
IT guys are insensitive; they buy trousers for thousands of Rupees; but look at the fact that the ambience and amenities that an entry level employee enjoys on Day 1 in an IT company is the same as that the Founder & CEO enjoys; while in traditional Indian industry, CEO’s had fancy offices even in 70’s, though the workers had a shoddy place! Premji Foundation alone is putting 6 Million kids back to School, that too among Government Schools